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    dkirschner's Metro Exodus (PC)

    [August 13, 2022 03:51:19 PM]
    Wrapping up a few games and clearing them out of here. Metro Exodus is my favorite in this series. It's quite epic. Whereas the first two games take place in the Moscow metro tunnels, this one moves above ground and out of Moscow. After learning that there are settlements outside Moscow, Artyom convinces others to join him in search of a better life. About 10 of the Order, including Anna (your wife) and the Colonel, head out on a train. The leaving is more dramatic than that (involving a heist of said train), but that's the gist.

    The game takes place as Artyom & co. travel across Russia looking for the Russian government and other survivors. They stop in 5 or so locations for various reasons along the journey. Two of these are open world levels, one is sort of a linear open world level, and at least two more are more linear and resemble more of the old Metro games. New in this one, you can scan the horizon with binoculars and mark places on your map, most of which have goodies to loot like weapon upgrades or collectible journals. I never got tired of exploring.

    You pick up more characters along the way, a woman and her daughter, a teen boy, an engineer, and leave some at your stops. They find love, decide to go on a quest, die, and so on. The characters are really well written. Metro has always stood out for its portrayals of life in the tunnels. In the games, you always feel like you're entering a (barely) functioning society. The train is similarly realistic. Characters fall in love, have arguments, get sick, develop in-jokes, share hobbies and swap stories, etc., etc. There is a ton of incidental dialogue to overhear and participate in. Often, you can sit down, smoke cigarettes, share a drink, hold someone's hand, play a guitar, and more. The NPCs' interactions, especially in large groups, are so impressively done.

    Each level has at least one good, memorable character, from the insane technology-hating preacher to the Admiral (also insane from radiation and/or loneliness) who has tea parties with his dead comrades. Actually a lot of the people you meet have gone nuts. There's even a whole area of people who have gone nuts. They are cannibals. The areas out in the world also have a lot of good lore. You can find diary entries and tapes, and occasionally an NPC who doesn't try to kill you and will talk with you about something or other. The next-to-last level of the game, Taiga, is interesting because the inhabitants were school children when the bombs went off. Their teacher led them, and then the group splintered into two rival factions. A woman from one of them, who rescues you in the beginning of the level, tells you the story of why they split and what happened to the teacher. You also find an audio diary of the teacher's for more insight. Don't think too much about why people in a post-apocalyptic wasteland are recording audio diaries on cassette tapes. They just do, okay?!

    The combat is tight and punchy, the guns and all their upgrades are varied, the survival elements gelled with my preferences (they were enough to think about and make my heart beat fast, but not too much to make me feel I had to be preoccupied with them). Enemies are generally garden variety humans with guns or mutants that run at you. The flying things are back, which I recall being from the library level in one of the previous games. They're easy to kill though. There are a few bosses, though interestingly you can avoid some. And, you can use the same trick in this game as previous ones to conserve ammo if you have an NPC ally handy. NPC allies won't die or run out of ammo, so hide in a corner and let them do the shooting for you!

    The one--ONE!--thing I didn't like about the game is that there are crafting materials everywhere. Too many. I eventually realized I would walk into houses with the camera down looking at the floor for chemicals or metal scraps or whatever. I didn't need to pick up all that crap, but I felt compelled to. You will use it to craft things, but I always had tons extra. It would have been better if there were fewer stashes of materials. Small complaint.

    I guess overall, I would describe this game as a journey. It'll evoke a lot of emotion, from joy to sadness, and I really felt like I was part of a group of people. I am stoked for another Metro game, to see where the devs take it. I read that the author of the book is working with the devs on the story.
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    dkirschner's Metro Exodus (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 25 July, 2022

    GameLog closed on: Saturday 13 August, 2022

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Strange game. Lots of dialogue. Sort of open world, with some big explorable levels. ----------- Fantastic

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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